Historic St. Paul power plant smokestack razed - KMSP-TV

VIDEO: Historic St. Paul power plant smokestack razed

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Scott Wasserman | Fox 9 News Scott Wasserman | Fox 9 News
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

It's demolition day for a historic riverfront coal burning plant in St. Paul.

The 280-foot smokestack from the Island Station Power Plant was imploded at 10 a.m. Sunday morning. It's nearly 100 years old, but has been vacant for about 40 years.

SLIDESHOW: View photos

The plant was purchased last fall and the removal of the structure is expected to clear the way for development; however, no specific plans for the area have been publicized.


The smokestack was demolished by the same company that razed part of the Metrodome in late February, and the "dynamite divas" travel the world with their father to count down when he helps take down iconic buildings. 

VIDEO: Watch the countdown

Little Canada-based Frattalone Companies and Idaho-based Advanced Explosives Demolition imploded the structure that rests along the Mississippi River at 380 Randolph Street. On Sunday, the demolition involved explosives instead the high-reach excavators, wrecking balls and dynamite used to remove the Metrodome's remaining ring beam.


In order to bring down the brick structure dating back to the 1920s, crews used more than 100 charges placed in strategic locations to ensure the debris would fall in the desired way.

VIDEO: Another implosion view

Many people came to watch the blast, including residents who once found creative uses for the abandoned structure.

"When we were kids, we used to come in here while it was empty and hang out inside there and climb up all over it," Scott Ferrozzo admitted. "I can't believe they tore it down finally."

Ferrozzo and Tom Lawrence build Hexcopters, and they came to the demolition to capture a closer look than anyone.

"It was amazing," Lawrence said. "I was surprised that the boom was as loud as it was. Had some pretty good-sized charges in there."

It took about 10 seconds for the smokestack to finally fall to the ground and forever change the St. Paul city landscape.

All work and debris removal is expected to culminate by late spring. What's going in the plant's place? In October, Arizona-based St. Paul River Walk bought the property for $4.05 million, but there has been no word as to what's going in the space.

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